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Patent office governance and patent examination quality

  • Picard, Pierre M.
  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent examination process from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination process. A higher effort in the examination process enhances the patent holders' protection in the judicial system and strengthens the screening of innovations with small inventive steps. We compare the quality of the examination process for various objectives of patent offices. Patent examination quality is the highest in an office maximizing incentives to innovate and the lowest in that maximizing the number of granted patents. A rent-seeking patent office can provide good incentives to innovate if it does not set too high markups on fees.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 14-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:14-25
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